When Evangelical Lutheran, St. John’s Church was established by German Lutheran immigrants, members felt it important to also establish a school and cemetery.
On February 14, a cemetery was purchased for the sum of $800. It consisted of five acres which is now part of McCulloch Park. On September 25, the congregation bought another cemetery of six acres on Maple Avenue for $133 and sold the first. November of this same year plots were offered for 5 cents a square foot.
In this year, several wealthy attorneys who did not want St. John’s cemetery adjacent to their properties or perhaps may have wanted to secure possession of the property, made St. John’s give up the second cemetery, through the civil courts. All the dead were removed and re-interred in the third and present cemetery dedicated in August, 1872. A board fence was put around it, and the congregation built a house on the cemetery land. This house was rented to the cemetery’s first caretaker. A watch tower was built from which guards watched nightly for grave robbers.
The road in the cemetery was tiled, curbed, and paved; new entrance posts and gates were also installed.
Bethany Mission, on the Engle Road in Indian Village, was founded by St. John Church. In order to give this Mission a good start, St. John donated approximately 2 acres of land on the northeast corner of its cemetery property.
The cemetery board opened Memorial Parkway for burials and installed new fencing.
The existing pole barn was built.
The old farm house was torn down. Our last caretaker passed away and the property has been maintained by the church cemetery board and a staff of volunteers ever since.